Buying a compressor to save money

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CaptainPickUp

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I tried browsing a few threads before posting, seeing a lot of questions based around "are you doing this to save money?" But there's no real substance as to why this is a common question. I dive 3-4 times per week, and getting a fill at $10+tax is costing close to $250/mo. I'm considering a compressor to save money on fills. What's the logic behind the concern about trying to save money?
 

Marie13

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As far as I can tell, the only reason some get a compressor is convenience.
 

Divin'Papaw

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No one I've ever known who bought, setup and maintained a compressor did it to save money. They did it for convenience or out of necessity. I do not believe that ONE diver will be able to justify the full cost of a compressor when all costs are considered.
 

rjack321

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The real cost of fills is the fuel it takes to drive back and forth to the shop and the time it takes.

$10/fill is the cost of diving.
 

broncobowsher

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As others stated, probably not going to save money. If you do it won't be much.
Compressors are expensive, but they do have value. Hard to figure what the cost really is. Buy it once, but it will have value when (if) you ever sell it. How much? very hard to say.

There is also the running costs. Electricity, oil (the compressor needs servicing or you are just in a hurry to make a pile of scrap metal), filters. If run long enough, figure rebuild costs. Then add repair items. The occasional random part, a drive belt, a whip hose, pressure gauge, contactor, etc.

Now for the savings. You get to do your own fills on your own time. Depending on how far away the dive shop is from home, some fuel costs. The bonus of getting home Saturday night, filling the tanks, heading out again Sunday morning.

Notice I didn't mention saving money. You probably are not going to. Even if you run the books and keep track, some months you will be up, others you will be down.

How is the social aspect of your local dive shop? Do you get to talk to the owner about upcoming trips? The latest gear that is coming into the store? Meet some friends and plan an outing? Much like going to a pub doesn't have the cheapest beer, there are other aspects of going to the dive shop that have value even if it isn't the cheapest way of doing it.
 

rob.mwpropane

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I have ~ $4000 wrapped up in a compressor. This includes an additional filter tower, whips, fittings, gauges, etc. It's run from a 1 cylinder diesel engine. I've pumped somwhere around ~ 60+ tanks so far, or around 5000cf. It's been up and running since March? of this year? We have 6 divers in the family and I try to dive as often as I can.

I'm not sure that I'll ever "recoup" what I've spent, but for me driving 45 min 1 way, paying $12 / tank for air or $17 / nitrox, it's worked out. Being able to blend my own nitrox has been huge for me (not to meantion I don't have to drop tanks off which turns a 1.5 hr trip into a 3 hr trip). If I went diving with 2 sets of doubles the dive was $68 just for gas alone. With a compressor and mixing my own nitrox it's like $5 for both sets of doubles and ~ 45m-1h min personal time to fill them. And God forbid the dive gets blown out, I really don't feel bad diving in a quarry with what would otherwise be "expensive" gas. If I was to factor in the fills and nitrox fills and the driving back and forth I think I've saved around $1000-$1200, and a good bit of personal time driving / dropping off.

You could also look at that as I've paid ~ $66.66 / fill this year :banghead: ($4000 / 60 fills).

Also, if I do a short dive and breath a tank down ~ 1000psi, it's really not a big deal to pump back up. That always seemed to sting a little more going to the lds knowing that even though I only needed ~ 50+ cf of gas (in a set of doubles), it was still going to be $24.

Also, also, did I meantion that I never have to leave the shop with short fills? As a matter of fact, I turn LP85's into ~ 105's and HP100's into 114's. I never, ever have a short fill. That alone is almost worth buying a compressor to me.

I can honestly say that owning a compressor has gotten me to dive more than I would have otherwise. Sometimes logistics for me means I just couldn't dive because I didn't have time to get fills. I do have time to wake up at 4am and fill tanks, and I can do that any day of the week.

One last thing is if I ever wanted to sell it I'm pretty confident at the very minimum I could break even.

I don't know, just my 2 cents... if it ever breaks, I 100% will be on here crying how dumb I was for buying a compressor:rolleyes:
 

Bladebreaker65

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Picked up an old unit from the fire dept for 2k spent 900 to repair and service most was changing out the elect motor from 3 phase elect to normal 220v . mounted in a roller cage I load it up take it in ann for service and certify the air about 2-300 fill about 25-30 tanks a year cost wise will take a long time to break even but I always have tanks and refill on my schedule is priceless
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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